Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This legislation will protect workers’ right to join a union and bargain for safer working conditions, better benefits, and higher wages. The bill passed with bipartisan support.
“Growing up in a union household on the north side of La Crosse, I saw firsthand the importance of America’s labor movement,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Unions are critical to rebuilding our middle class and improving the lives of workers and their families. Today we took an important step to protect Wisconsin workers’ right to join a union and negotiate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.”
Evidence shows that union participation drives up wages for the entire middle class, not just union members and has a dramatic impact on their members. Studies have shown that union members earn on average 19% more than those with similar education, occupation, and experience in a non-union workplace. Due to decades of attacks on workers’ right to organize, including the union busting legislation pushed through by former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, union membership has sharply declined. In 2020, only 10.8% of American workers were union members. However, in a recent poll of workers across the country, 48% of non-union workers said they would vote to join a union. The PRO Act would reverse years of attacks on unions and protect workers’ right to stand together and bargain for better wages and benefits.
The PRO Act would restore fairness to the economy and strengthen protections for workers by:
- Introducing meaningful, enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights
- Restoring workers’ ability to stand together by rolling back anti-labor “right to work” laws, and closing loopholes that companies use to exploit workers
- Strengthening workers’ right to free and fair union elections and requiring corporations to respect the results